Politics update: EU rejects May, public support for higher taxes

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May’s plans in crisis after EU rejection

When May travelled to Salzburg to meet with EU leaders on Thursday it was expected that she would be extended the offer of an ‘unprecedented summit’ in November to reach a final deal. Instead, after the prime minister reportedly stated to Ireland’s leader Leo Varadkar that she would need more time to reach a deal, France’s president Emmanuel Macron changed tack, telling EU leaders the prime minister should not be allowed to drag her heels, avoiding any plans for a November summit.



Returning home to Britain Theresa May now faces a political crisis. David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, has told reporters he believes that up to 40 MPs could vote against the Chequers proposal, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has called for aspects of the plan to be reworked, which May has so far opposed the idea of.

There is a bright side for the PM: loyalists to May still claim her plans have a chance. James Brokenshire, the housing secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The prime minister is acting in the national interest, she’s sticking up for Britain, and the Chequers deal is a workable, credible deal to meet our ambitions, our intent.”

“Should we be surprised that there are tough negotiations, tough words? No, because we are entering the final phase of those negotiations to get the deal and we remain resolute in getting that and getting that deal for our country.”

Then there’s this…

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Macron calls pro-Brexit campaigners ‘Liars’

Macron has been making waves in several places this week, not just speaking against Theresa May, but against her conservative colleagues, too.

Speaking at the press conference at the Salzburg summit, the French president stated that the victory of the Leave vote in the Brexit referendum was “pushed by those who predicted easy solutions”. Macron added: “Those people are liars. They left the next day so they didn’t have to manage it.”

Survey says 60% of people back higher taxes

The British Social Attitudes survey, conducted by the National Center for Social Research, has found that 60% supported raising taxes to increase spending for public services. Whilst the survey found that Labour supporters were far more in support, 53% of Tory voters supported the idea, the highest since 2002.

NatCen’s Head of Public Attitudes, Roger Harding, said: “Since 2010 the proportion of people who want more tax and spend has nearly doubled and shows the country is clearly tiring of austerity.

“The question for the government is whether their recent spending announcements have done enough to meet public demand for more public investment, including now from a majority of their own voters.

“The question for Labour is whether they can win over the many older people who support more spending but currently do not support the party.”

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.